New Zealanders are now able to order Tesla vehicles directly from the electric car company.

California-based Tesla Motors also reiterated its plans this morning to open a store and service centre in Auckland and charging stations "from Auckland to Wellington" next year.

While a handful of Tesla cars have been privately imported into this country, from today New Zealanders can order Model S and Model X vehicles directly from the company's website.

The Model S starts from $109,300 while the Model X starts from $145,200. Depending on the engine, the vehicles can cost almost $225,000.


The firm - founded by billionaire Elon Musk - expects to deliver the first orders to New Zealand between next April and June.

Tesla also plans to make its latest home battery storage unit available in New Zealand, though it gives no launch date for this technology.

The unit, called the Powerwall 2, will allow "home owners to store solar energy during the day, so they can use it during peak hours in the evening or during a power outage".

"Over 80 per cent of New Zealand's electricity is generated by renewables, so, it's a natural progression for Tesla to deliver energy storage solutions to local residents. Powerwall will empower homeowners to store energy during off peak times, support
electricity networks and achieve greater grid autonomy," the company said this morning.

Tesla's worldwide sales exceeded expectations in the three months to September after the company missed two consecutive sets of sales targets.